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How is stomach cancer treated?

Surgery is the primary treatment for stomach cancer. However, depending on the staging (extent of disease), additional therapeutics may be included in the treatment.

Typically, surgery involves removing most - or sometimes, all - of the stomach. When treating the disease in advanced stages (like if the cancer has spread to other areas of the body), radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy are often recommended to decrease the chance of recurrence.

Radiation and chemotherapy work in different ways: radiation beams precisely target a specific area with its highly defined beams, while chemotherapy goes throughout the body, interfering with the cancer cells’ ability to grow and reproduce
In cases where a patient’s stomach cancer appears not to have spread to distant organs, surgery remains the primary treatment for this disease.  In most cases, the surgeon will remove at least half of the stomach (or, in some cases, the entire stomach), as well as the surrounding lymph nodes.  For all but the earliest stages of stomach cancer, some form of chemotherapy will also usually be recommended, either before surgery or after surgery.  Finally, radiation therapy is commonly used following surgery, especially when a patient’s stomach cancer is relatively large, or when multiple lymph nodes are involved with cancer.

Continue Learning about Gastrointestinal Cancer

Gastrointestinal Cancer

Caused by tumors that grow slowly in our digestive system, gastrointestinal cancers can affect the appendix, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum.With no known cause, the tumors that cause these cancers usually do not show s...

ymptoms until after they have spread. See your doctor if you have shortness of breath, abdominal discomfort or bloating, rectal bleeding or bowel obstruction. You are at greater risk for developing gastrointestinal cancers if you have a family history of the cancers, are older than 50 or have other gastric problems, such as gastritis. Tumors called carcinoids and non-carcinoids cause cancer in the gastrointestinal tract, which houses the stomach and the intestines. Most carcinoid tumors are found in the tip of the appendix, which is attached to the large intestines. Tumors are often found when a person is treated for appendicitis or a doctor notices it accidentally in a CT scan. Aggressive treatments, such as surgery, are needed for large tumors.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.